WASHINGTON (CN) – Three years after listing the North American green sturgeon population south of California’s coastal Eel River as threatened, the National Marine Fisheries Service plans to makes it unlawful for anyone to kill them.
No one may “take” the fish, which includes fishing, and any activity resulting in significant habitat modification or degradation that has potential to kill, injure or harm the fish. The restrictions extend to all uses of habitat next to the population of fish, including agricultural use of pesticides, flood control, power generation and logging.
Exceptions include “take” during restoration efforts, certain research or monitoring activities, NMFS enforcement activity, emergency fish rescue and salvage activities, and fish taken by Indian nations when the fishing is covered under a tribal fisheries management plan.
The Endangered Species Act provides for civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation, and criminal penalties of up to $50,000 plus one year imprisonment per violation.